01/05/2013 at 13:30
I agree that it's every mum's choice, and I would never judge another mother for the choices she makes, because who can tell what has led to those choices? 99% of mothers do what they believe is best for their children, and what people believe is best is not always the same.
Having said that, I do agree that we are being totally let down with breastfeeding support these days, and that can lead to a lot of women not breastfeeding even though they wanted to. I had a problem with milk supply, I had a very low supply for the first month of my son's life. Everyone in the hospital (doctors and nurses) were advising me that if I was having problems, to just give him a bottle. Even my husband was saying the same thing, the only person who supported me was my mum, and I thank God every day for her! I got in touch with La Leche, who were amazing in helping me boost my supply. I didn't want to start Aidan on bottles because I'd heard about nipple confusion, and was having so many problems I didn't want to add that, and so gave him formula through a nursing supplementer in the meantime. It took a while, but eventually after 4 weeks I had enough to throw out the formula, and now at 7 weeks, Aidan is a totally breast fed baby. I was stubborn enough and had my mum's support in persevering, but if I had listened to the advice I was given by medical professionals, I would have been bottle feeding him since he was 8 days old, and that, in my humble opinion, is just wrong.
The other thing is the way breastfeeding is seen as unfashionable these days. When I said to my family that I was planning to breastfeed, they were shocked, as they don't even consider it as an option. I was especially shocked at my younger cousins (all 17/18/19 years old - I'm 30). Their response was basically "that's what Granny did, it's old fashioned". As one of the women above said - but that's why we have breasts! I was even more shocked when my youngest cousin, who is 15, told me that it was horrible, because my breast wasn't sterile, and that "they wouldn't have invented formula unless it was better for babies".
So while I won't judge a mother who has made the decision to bottle feed, I am sad that for my generation and the generation coming after us, it doesn't seem like a choice anymore. I think they should start doing education about breast feeding in schools, maybe as part of sex ed classes, so these girls can find out more about breastfeeding, and perhaps choose to feed their babies themselves in the future.
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